J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Inscription by Turner: Title of Sketchbook 1827

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Label on Spine:
Inscription by Turner: Title of Sketchbook 1827
Ink on red-brown leather spine of sketchbook, 16 x 117 mm
Inscribed by Turner in ink ‘Windsor’ at centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg’s brief note and transcription of Turner’s inscription as a ‘label on back’1 is consistent with his 1909 Inventory’s documentation of the artist’s customary paper spine labels bearing ink inscriptions, many of which survive, Turner’s initial campaign of applying paper labels having predated this sketchbook, in around 1823–4.2 Some of those labels have been lost since, probably in the aftermath of the 1928 Tate Gallery flood.
Possibly the rough, blurred and faint traces of the inscription now remaining on the spine here bled through from a missing paper label of that type, or the word may have been written directly onto the leather.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

Finberg 1909, II, p.695.
See David Hill, Turner on the Thames: River Journeys in the Year 1805, New Haven and London 1993, p.176 note 79; and Ian Warrell, Turner’s Sketchbooks, London 2014, pp.15–16, 236 note 34, and p.234 for annotated checklist of ‘Turner’s Sketchbook Sequences’.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Inscription by Turner: Title of Sketchbook 1827 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-inscription-by-turner-title-of-sketchbook-r1183376, accessed 21 June 2024.